Hyderabad-based AquaExchange, a comprehensive aquaculture startup, has successfully raised $6 million in its Series A funding round led by the London-based private equity firm Ocean 14. Existing investors, including Endiya Partners and Accion Venture Labs, also participated in this funding round.
The funds will be utilized to expand the adoption of AquaExchange’s platform and explore opportunities in select international markets for exports.
Founded in 2020 by Pavan Kosaraju, AquaExchange offers a product portfolio that includes Internet of Things (IoT)-powered feed automation and power management devices. These devices can be conveniently controlled by farmers through a user-friendly app.
AquaExchange also operates a marketplace for aqua farmers, facilitating seamless deliveries of seeds, feed, and various products. Manufacturers can showcase their offerings on the platform, and processors can efficiently connect with farmers for procurement.
Reflecting on the funding, Kosaraju remarked, “This round of funding strengthens our position as leaders in the aquaculture technology and fintech sectors With this funding round, we aim to equip many more aquaculture farmers with the right technology to reduce costs and increase productivity while enabling global protein sustainability.”
Chiming in, Piers Lakin, senior associate at Ocean 14 Capital, said, “We are really impressed and excited by the speed of growth of AquaExchange. In a short period of time, the company managed to deploy technology across a significant part of the Indian aquaculture landscape while also developing an end-to-end solution providing access to inputs, offtake and finance.”
Earlier, AquaExchange raised $3 Mn as part of its pre-Series A funding round from Endiya Partners and Accion Venture Lab in June 2022. Just two months prior in April 2022, the startup merged with another Hyderabad-based deeptech startup NextAqua.
The startup claims to have so far automated more than 10% of all shrimp farms in India and deployed its devices across thousands of acres in India.
It primarily competes with the likes of Eruvaka and Aquaconnect.
Fish and shrimp comprise the two major significant species produced in India’s aquaculture sector. The country’s shrimp production stood at 9 Lakh tonnes in 2022, while fish production stood at 131.13 Lakh tonnes in FY23.
Buoyed by rising consumer demand and seafood exports, India’s aquaculture industry is projected to grow to a market size of $29.37 Bn by 2028. It is this growing market that Indian startups plan to tap into by leveraging technology to streamline procurement of seeds, make informed decisions and predict market trends.